Read the interview here.
“The novel oscillates between mediated reflection, immediate perceptual state, and, later on, madness. This stage of perception does entirely without any sort of explanation. It’s about immediacy. The self is fully within it, there’s no help from without, no visible motive to reconstruct reflection a posteriori. That’s how it is with our perception. To my mind, when it comes to language, things start to get interesting. We trust reflection and reason so much more. Pure perception is trusted less, but insanity is never trusted. In the novel, we have an unreliable narrator telling the story after it’s already occurred. You might assume that the events were reflected upon and are now related through this conscious filter. But that’s not the case. Only in madness can you see what’s actually going on. The body itself speaks, unfiltered, directly. It’s a huge, profound immediacy that we can’t rationally grasp. It’s another language, like the language of dreams. You want to decode it, but there’s no code. In the novel, it presents as a primordial language, as opposed to a verbal one: a language of images that exerts its effect directly. It just does this, and the reader has to surrender to it to get any closer.”
Check out a selection of photos from the installation at Maniére Noire, Berlin
via The Ethnic Chinese Millionaire
Read the full article here in German language.
“Das Besondere und das Wunderbare an diesem Roman ist, dass es Scrima mit dem Ausdrucksmittel der Sprache gelungen ist, uns die Funktionsweise des Erinnerungsprozesses wirklich erfahrbar und erlebbar zu machen. Denn anstatt eines sinnvoll geordneten und strukturierten Narrativs präsentiert sie uns mit Wie viele Tage eine Textkomposition, die ebenso wenig ordnet und sinnvoll kategorisiert, wie unser Gedächtnis, wenn es sich der Gegenwart enthebt, um sich vergangenen Erlebnissen zuzuwenden. Unsere Erinnerungen sind sprunghaft, sie schwimmen von einem Bild zum nächsten. Und von Bedeutung sind meist die einfachen Dinge: die Möbelstücke, mit denen wir eine bestimmte Phase unseres Lebens assoziieren, die Erinnerung an unser Gefühl, dass wir gerne all unseren Besitz an einem Ort beisammen hätten, damit wir uns selbst nicht mehr wie ständig auf der Reise zu fühlen. Die Weltgeschichte erscheint in dem Leben des Einzelnen meist nur am Horizont, während es unser Leben in den eigenen vier Wänden und unsere Wahrnehmung der direkten Umgebung ist, das unser Sein bestimmt und beeinflusst. Für all dies steht dieser lyrische Roman, der durch den Einfluss der bildenden Kunst dahingehend auf wunderbare und einmalige Weise befruchtet wird, dass kraft der Sprache tatsächlich visuelle Bilder vor unserem geistigen Auge entstehen.”
“The remarkable and wondrous thing about this novel is that Scrima has succeeded in using the expressive means of language to enable us to experience, at close hand, the ways in which the process of remembering actually functions. Instead of a meaningfully structured narrative, A Lesser Day presents us with a text composition that orders and categorizes as seldom as our memory when it leaves the present tense to attend to past experience. Our recollections are skittish; they jump from one image to another. And it’s usually the simplest things that wind up taking on importance: pieces of furniture we associate with a certain phase of our lives; the memory of having longed to have all our possessions in one place at last, to stop feeling as though we were constantly on the road. In this individual’s life, world history generally makes an appearance at a distance, while it’s the lives we lead within our own four walls and our perception of our immediate surroundings that shape and determine our existence. This lyrical novel, enriched in a unique and wonderful way by the influence of art, stands for all this; indeed, the power of language gives rise to visual images that rise up before the mind’s eye.”
File under Spoken vs. Written:
My wonderful editor at Literaturverlag Droschl, Christopher Heil, interviewed me about my book, A Lesser Day (Wie viele Tage). Actually, we were really just trying to prepare for a reading at the Leipzig Book Fair this past March, and when we saw that we’d written I don’t know how many pages of questions and answers, we realized that, up on stage, it would all be useless to us and that we’d have to wing it. Why don’t we turn this into a written interview, I asked. OK, he answered — and here it is, translated into English on 3QuarksDaily.
via The Ethnic Chinese Millionaire
exhibition runs until October 19, 2018
Opening times: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 4 to 7 pm
Read the full review here.
Andrea Scrima’s brilliant debut novel, A Lesser Day (Spuyten Duyvil), creates a realistic psychological portrait of an artist’s life (…). The narrator and the reader are haunted by the unseen, the unspoken, the uncaptured, the unconscious forgotten details lurking in the vivid portraits of the artist’s memory. (…) A delicious unease slowly builds through the pages, suggesting that in every described detail there is a hidden meaning—a meaning often hidden even to the narrator. The fact that the narrator can remember so many minor details and the fact that even such a reliable, careful memory could be wanting is as terrifying to the reader as it is to the narrator. One of the delicate disturbances of the novel is the sense that if one’s memory can’t be fully trusted, no one can be trusted, even the self. (…) In a sense, each short chapter is like snapshot, the snapshots the narrator takes with the camera in her hand and the camera in her mind, wanting to capture some specific detail of each and every day—even the “lesser days,” when the washed-out details are so challenging to capture that even the most carefully framed photographs are unlikely to develop a vibrant image.
– Aimee Parkison